Coach Alicia Fong

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Very interesting “FMS” article

I like to share the following article about FMS aka Functional Movement Screen.  It talks about the pros, cons and its studies. What are your thoughts?

Anyone who is interested in training, and browsing on the Internet now and then probably have hardly missed Functional Movement Screen, also commonly abbreviated as FMS, which currently is almost ridiculously hyped in the U.S.. Just as everything else from the U.S. so it’s about that you should pay the money to take a course and then get a license / a diploma that you then can show to their customers. What course would cost to go to Sweden I do not know, but education is in two days where you learn the tests and then a series of exercises that are designed to improve performance in the tests.

If you would like to be tested by someone who is licensed in the Functional Movement Screen and it will cost you around 600 SEK, ie the class with a PT-hours. The question then is whether it is worth the money? Is there any research showing that a training course in 2 days can make a random PT clever enough to determine whether it is the increased risk of injury?

I personally am not very fond of the Functional Movement Screen. I think it makes more sense than much else out there on the market but as usual when something strikes it big in the U.S., it’s an awful lot of talk and surprisingly little evidence behind. A very distinctive characters for almost all of those Americans who encountered a lot of searching on the web about exercise is that they all like to talk very much about studies and research, but almost never sees them actually refer to any studies or research.

Anyway. In this post I will look at the Functional Movement Screen and the research that does exist to try to determine whether the test adds nothing new and if it can help you as a coach or athlete to become better at what you do.

Brief Functional Movement Screen

Functional Movement Screen arrived in 1998 and is created by Gray Cook, Lee Burton and Kyle Kiesel. The first studies on the Functional Movement Screen is also performed by these gentlemen, if you will notice later, the results seem to differ a lot from when one of them is involved in the studies and when it is more independent people.

For those of you not familiar with the Functional Movement Screen and so does the seven different tests that can result in 0-3 points. 3 points are given if the movement is perfect. If the motion is carried out but with some form of compensation will be 2 points. If the test subject is unable to perform the test, he or she was 1 point and if the pain during movement, it will be 0 points. Maximum score for a test is thus 21 points and the minimum is 0 points, which occurs about every movement hurts.

One thing that is very good with the Functional Movement Screen purely scientific terms is that it is very standardized. In theory, this standardization mean that many people in different parts of the world can take the same tests and do basically the same assessment. So if you go to two different persons performing the various tests on you, you should get the same results in the two tests. If it really becomes so are studied in three different studies ( 1 , 2 , 3 ).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Functional Movement Screen is well standardized

In the first study, where Kyle Kiesel was co-author, saw a very good interrater reliability (IBR) ( 1 ). This long complicated words, how well the assessment is between two different people. Results from the study showed a rather good ability for different analysts to find the same results and the authors concluded that the Functional Movement Screen has high IBR and can be safely used by trained persons. Total overlapped approximately 70-92% of assessments for the various tests. In this study, also shared the team of an experienced team of two who both had at least 10 years of experience in Functional Movement Screen, a more inexperienced team with two newly trained assessors. Interestingly, more regular assessments of the newly trained assessors.

In the second study conducted on military performance was approximately the same result, the ( two ). This study also looked at how consistent assessment is from a single assessor. So if you have the same score by the same assessor if you do the test twice in succession. In this case the results were very good.

In the third study, the results were not as positive ( 3 ). The researchers in this study, the worse figures for IBR and they therefore recommend that the assessor should always perform the tests.

Despite the more adverse outcome in the third study is still a strength standardization of Functional Movement Screen. If we consider that it is still to some extent is a manual test that can be performed “on the ground” so the results are in good reliability. There is also a strength when you then must conduct studies on the test to see if it can predict future damage, reduce the number of injuries or even assessing how well a particular person will perform in a sport. For the fact that we know that different people consider pretty much the same means that studies can be performed in a standardized way of several different research groups.

The first studies

Knowing that a test is performed more or less the same way by different people is always interesting, but something that is far more interesting for an athlete is on the tests add nothing new. If they can contribute to either predict or damage by reducing the risk of injury. There are currently very few studies on the Functional Movement Screen, but mixed results and I will now briefly go through them all.

American footballer

The first of these studies appeared in 2007 and in that looked at American football player ( 4 ). This study was conducted by Kyle Kiesel, founder of the Functional Movement Screen, and is retrospective. With retrospective meant looking at the outcome afterwards to try to find connections. This is a form of study design that gives uncertain results should always be interpreted with caution. Study participants were 46 players in a professional club in the United States. Physical coach of this team had under study a total of 11 years of experience in Functional Movement Screen and the upcoming season, he had performed these tests on the players on the team. Using these results and injury statistics for the past season, the scientists then look at whether they could see no statistical correlation between test results and injury risk.

The mean football players of the test were found to be 16.9 points. For those who spent an injury, the mean 14.3 and for those who received no injury, the mean rather than 17.4. This difference in mean was significant. Apart from this simple comparison was made also a calculation to try to come up with a test value in the best possible way could make out the people who were in greater risk of injury while not unnecessarily included many who were not at increased risk of injury. If one were to set the threshold at 20 points so it would be guaranteed to get with virtually all of which harm themselves, but offers almost all of which do not harm themselves. The boundary is thus totally useless.

The value that was reached after the calculations was 14 points. Of those who scored below 14 points in the study were over 90% damage. Of those who had come to around 50% damage. This represents a specificity of 0.9 and a sensitivity of 0.5. They gave then some other ways of looking at this value which indicates an odds ratio of 11.7 which means that people under 14 points has an 11-fold higher risk of injury to a person with more than 14 points.

Can Functional Movement Screen predict damage in play in the NFL?

There are some very big questions of this study. In addition to being retrospective as I have said, I wonder immediately why you only included one season in the study? If the physical coach has worked with the Functional Movement Screen for 11 years should he is reasonably have data for several seasons. Perhaps it is the physical coach just got the job, we do not know. To me this feels like a big warning flag, especially when one of the authors of the study self-developed tests and has sold them commercially for almost 10 years before the study. Other problems are that you get to know very little about the individual values ​​of the test persons. The reason for this separation is to protect the players’ identity. Nor shall we know the name of the club we’ve tested. Or to put it another way, there is no way to verify this information.

In all cases, this study underpinning the value of 14 which now is established in the performing Functional Movement Screens.

For athletes before a marathon

This study is unfortunately only published as an abstract ( 5 ). In this study, we performed tests of the 60 runners who signed up for a marathon. After this, the participants each week before the race to fill out a form online where they could indicate whether they had any damage. The results of this study is far from impressive. A total of 12 pieces that had an injury of which only one participant had an overall score in 14th

After this daunting performance as tested is moving at the limit of 14 points to see if any other border could work better. The best value that was reached was then 17, which gave a specificity of 42% and a sensitivity of 57%. Still very bad and it can in principle be likened to a coin flip.

In women’s sports

Another study looked at 38 women’s sports that are either trained soccer, volleyball or basketball ( 7 ). In this study it was found that participants with a score over 14 points had 3.85 times as likely to go on an injury compared to those with 15 points and more. The sensitivity of this study was 0.58 which means that the test could find 58% of those who spent an injury. The specificity was 0.74, which means that 26% who did not went on a damage still had a profit during the 14th

All injuries except one in this study was the lower extremity and when we excluded the debt test in the Functional Movement Screen was the correlation between test results and injury risk clearly evident.

With firefighters in a year

This study involved 433 firefighters who face a new year underwent a Functional Movement Screen and then after a major intervention where the goal was to increase both bålstyrka and flexibility ( 6 ). There was no control group, but instead looked at injury statistics from the year before the intervention.

Nor in this study saw no connection between scores in tests and risk of injury. There was a small correlation between test results and previous injury in which those who were hurt had a slightly lower score. The real difference in score was only 0.24 points between previously injured and ‘never’ wounded so the practical usefulness here is basically none.

Youth Basketball player in a season

This study included 112 youth basketball players in which roughly half were girls and half boys aged 14-18 years ( 8 ). The results of this study was that 24% of those receiving the 14 points went to an injury, but 22% of those under 14 points was an injury. In other words, there was no difference in injury risk depending on the results that the girls and boys received the Functional Movement Screen test. The use of any value other than 14 as a border nor did it any significant results.

In the military

By far the best study published just one week ago and was performed on an aspiring military officers ( 9 ). The total includes 874 pieces of people which may be seen as a very impressive figure in terms of training studies. About half of them went through a workout that lasted 68 days and the other half an exercise period of 38 days. Before the training period all participants underwent a Functional Movement Screen, and a standard physical tests, which consisted of chins, sit-ups and well as a fitness test at 3 miles, that is almost 5 km.

The results showed that with a test result in 14 points had an injury that was 1.5 times greater than that which had more than 14 points. Overall, 45% of those who had a test result in 14 points of damage compared with 30% of those who had more points. The sensitivity of the test was 0.45 and specificity was 78%. This is not really impressive results, but we look only at these numbers, however, seems pretty Functional Movement Screen and still be able to fulfill a purpose in these contexts. However, there are two more things to do that in any case I am in really look into its benefits.

The first thing that is most telling is that when the researchers plotted the test results from damage to a graph that saw them to the risk of injury seemed to increase again among the participants who received more than 17 points on the test. The “plot up” means to put out items for each participant in a graph and then try to calculate any correlation. You’ve probably seen a graph at some point with a slanted line through the whole lot and points here and there. It is called a scatter plot.

The results of the study of military officers. Persons who scored below 14 points was the increased risk of injury but also those who received 18 points and more were in increased risk of injury.

This is quite surprising results. The person who was best on the tests proved to be more injury risk than their counterparts who were only decent on tests.

The other thing that speaks against Functional Movement Screen has something good for at least the military is that the physical tests they did at the beginning predicted which individuals were in the risk of injury as good as the Functional Movement Screen. Not only fystestet ability to predict who was at risk of injury was the same, its sensitivity was higher than for Functional Movement Screen. To put it in a very simple and obvious way. Less fit individuals are at increased risk for going on an injury when they begin to train more intensively.

Functional Movement Screen and performance

The relationship between test results of the Functional Movement Screen and performance is still not clear. There is a degree at Master’s level where the author looked at whether there was any link between performance on the test and the results of the various fitness tests like the vertical jump, sprint, throw the medicine ball and a “witty incitement” test ( 10 ). This study showed a very weak link between performance and test results. Another study conducted as part of a PhD. also showed that the disappointing results and in this also looked at differences between right and left sides to see if the Functional Movement Screen would predict that ( 11 ). Another study conducted by a graduate student in search of her PhD looked at the relationship between test results at a Functional Movement Screen and performance in 23 brandmänsanspiranter and found no significant relationship ( 12 ). The same study also did not do any correlation between test results and injury risk.

The study of military officers that I have mentioned here above was seen even where a relationship between performance on fystestet and results in the Functional Movement Screen, but even that was somewhat weak. The correlation was weak this explains why we saw a more straightforward relationship between injury risk and performance at fystestet compared with injury and scored in the Functional Movement Screen, which has said both the under 15 points and over 17 points had increased risk of injury.

Another study also conducted as part of a doctoral dissertation looked at whether you could see some form of systematic error in the Functional Movement Screen ( 13 ). Unfortunately I have not managed to get hold of this study in full text, but the abstract can be read out to more people seem to be more difficult to perform tests than shorter people. This suggests anyway that taller people are likely to be “designated” to be at risk of injury more often than shorter people, despite the risk of injury does not really differ slightly.

Summary

This post is hardly a celebration of the Functional Movement Screen. When it comes to predict the risk of injury or performance, it appears to be an awful lot to be desired. As I see it is really not worth the money to go to a place like this test unless you’re the type who likes to make movements that it is not possible, then it is probably Functional Movement Screen, a funny thing. It should be mentioned that there are good things to Functional Movement Screen. What I like most is the exercises you learn to increase his mobility again.

If you are however looking to reduce the risk of injury, I think it is far better to just look at what you need to take on and then try to increase their strength, balance and mobility so you can handle the movement. There is also in a lot of knee injuries that studies that have demonstrated several testable factors, if they are not working properly, leading to an increased risk of ACL injuries ( 11 ). If you want to reduce the risk of athletes do you probably will want to first of all abide by these factors.

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July 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week Mar 7th

Bathroom hygiene.

I came across this video about toilet hygiene and I like to take this week’s health tip to share it with you.

I have traveled around the world.   And I was surprised that asian countries use water to clean themselves after a bowel movement.  I always thought it was weird and gross, but I tried it when I was living in Singapore.  It was surprisingly very good.  I have to say that using simply water is not the cleanest.  However, neither is only toilet paper.  I believe on the combination of both.  And unfortunately, all toilets in America don’t have this device in the toilets where you can use water to clean yourself after a bowel movement.  And if I could install one, I would.  Now that I discover this video, I will like to buy one and install it in my toilet.  Check it out.

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week August 9th

  • Weight training may greatly benefit those who have rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is mainly a disease affecting the joints, but a less well known symptom is that it also severely reduces muscle mass and strength and this occurs even among patients whose disease is well managed.

A research completed in UK found that patients who weight lifted saw improvements in basic physical function such as walking.

Another researchers at Bangor and Gwynedd Hospital said such high intensity exercising could play a key role alongside drug treatment.

The high intensity training was found to increase the levels of an insulin-like growth factor (1GF-1) and insulin-like growth binding protein 3 – both of which promote the growth of muscles, bone and cartilage.

However, note that RA can affect different people in very different ways so pumping iron may not be appropriate for everyone. I suggest people discuss [this] with their physio.

So if you know a family member or friend who has RA, tell them about this and encourage them to talk to their physio about weight lifting.

Source:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-10864601

August 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week April 26th

I just read and learned about this fascinating health tip and decided to share it in my blog:  Napping can boost your memory, but ONLY if you dream.

Wow.  Isn’t that amazing?!  Your mind continuous to work while you are sleeping.  I read this on Dr. Mercola’s blog.  Apparently, there is new research indicating that a nap may boost your ability to process and store information by a factor of ten — but only if you dream while you’re asleep.

Researchers asked close to college students to memorize a complex maze. Those who got a nap did better than those who stayed awake.  However, people who both napped and dreamed about the maze performed 10 times better than the nappers who did not report such dreams.

This research was reported at CNN.  Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains that:

“It doesn’t even need to be a deep sleep … Although the deep slumber known as rapid eye movement (REM) is most closely associated with dreaming, the students’ dreaming and learning occurred after as little as one minute of non-REM sleep.”

Click here to see a video at CNN about this remarkable research.

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week March 29th

  • Tips for performing Deadlift exercise

Definition: The Deadlift is a weight lifting exercise where one lifts a loaded barbell off the ground from a stabilized bent-over position.

The deadlift is a compound movement that works virtually every muscle, with emphasis on the Erector spinae, lower back, along with the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, and calves.  Deadlifts are considered one of the best overall weight lifting exercises.  I believe everybody should be doing some sort of deadlift.  There are many variations to it and one is better than others for an individual depending on his/her mobility, flexibility and weaknesses.  For instance, someone who has tight hamstring should not be doing romanian deadlift due to his lack of full range of motion while performing it.  This person is better off doing trapbar deadlift.  Whichever variation you choose to use, when deadlifts are performed properly, they strengthen the lower back, hamstrings, glutes and calves.  Some people believe it is the purest single event test of strength because it is one of the few lifts of dead weight (weight lying on the ground).  It is also believed to be the oldest test of strength dating back to cultures who competed at lifting the heaviest stones.

If you have never done deadlift before, start with kettlebell deadlift.  It’s easier to learn the basic techniques.  However, I suggest you get personal coaching with a trainer, to ensure you are doing it correctly.  It is best to learn it fresh (first time) from an expert to avoid any future injuries.  Whether you use kettlebell or barbell, there are few general tips to get your form correctly.

1)  Always arch your back (arching mean creating a dip or a U-curve on your lower back) at starting position and while performing the exercise.  By arching your back, you remove the tension from your lower back and reduce risk of hurting your lower back.  If you are unable to arch your back, keep your back as straight as possible.  If you are feeling it on your lower back, you are rounding your back (opposite of arching).  If you cannot keep your back straight or arched, you will want to work on your core stability and your posture first.

2) Brace your core muscles.  In other words, make your torso stiff and move your whole torso (while maintaining your lower back arched) as one solid unit.  Remember, core muscles are not just your stomach muscles.  Core muscles are all the muscles that are attached to the spine.  If you are unable to keep your torso stiff while you are  deadlifting, then work on strengthening your core first and lower the weights.  You can continue to deadlift while strengthening your core, just keep the weights low or at the weight you are able to maintain stability on your back and core.

3) Keep your head down at starting position and keep it neutral at all times.  Having your head up put a lot of stress on your cervical spine especially when you are lifting heavy weights, and this can cause major spinal issues in the future.  Keep it neutral.  Best advise I can give in this area is to tuck your chin in a bit at all times.

4) Use hook grip.  I know there are many different opinions out there on the types of grip use for deadlifts.  Some people use overhand grip both, underhand grip both, and over/underhand grip.  The best, in my opinion, is the hook grip, which is similar to an overhand grip, but the thumbs are inside, allowing the lifter to “hook” onto them with the fingers.  The hook grip can make it easier to hold heavier weights using less grip strength, and keeps both shoulders and elbows in a symmetrical position.   While using mixed grip (over/underhand grip), you are twisting your torso and putting more stress on your joints.  Twisting your torso will create imbalances in your body and that is the beginning of a serious of body issues including muscle imbalances, instabilities and bad posture.  Some believe that using mixed grip will allow you to lift heavier but if you use hook grip, you can lift as much or even heavier without the barbell slipping off your hands due to the “hook”.  A disadvantage of hook grip is that it can be extremely uncomfortable for the thumbs but like anything it’s a matter of getting accustomed to it.  So if you are a beginner, use hook grip and start getting used to it from day one.  Those who have been deadlifting for awhile and want to switch to hook grip, reduce your weight, get comfortable with the hook grip, then slowly add weight and build it up.

5) Always start with the barbell close to your body.  If you are starting from the floor, have the barbell touch your shin.  If you are starting from the top (barbell on your hands already), have the barbell touch your thighs.  You want the barbell close to your body as possible as you move because it creates balance. Think of it as center of gravity.  If you were to lift the barbell with weights of 2x your bodyweight one foot away from you, you will fall forward and all of the tension and stress will be in your upper body and ultimately hurt your back in the process.  Same tip applies to kettlebell deadlift, start with the kettlebell in between your feet.  Not forward as this will force you to use your knees more.  We want to use our posterior chain muscles, meaning your glutes, hamstring, calves and back.

Remember anytime you feel pain in your lower back or knee, back it off.  Don’t force it.  Go down to the weight you can maintain stability in your back.  All back pain is because of the inability to maintain the back arched due to weak core muscles.  Most knee pain is due to weak glutes and poor hip movements.  There are variation of deadlifts.  One type of deadlifts is better suited for one individual and another type for another person.  If you don’t know which ones are best for you, seek help from an experienced trainer who can advise you properly.  How do you know if a trainer is good and whether he/she has the correct knowledge?  Well, it’s very easy.  If the trainer gives you an answer immediately without knowing how your body moves, he/she is not good because the trainer is just guessing.  To really know what is best for the individual, trainers must know how your body functions and what are your weaknesses and instabilities. So this way, trainers can correct those first and then move on to coaching you the best suited deadlift for you. Without a proper assessment, it’s just a guessing game.  So make sure your trainer and/or when hiring a trainer, he/she completes a proper assessment on you before prescribing the workout program.

Good luck and you can email me at afperformancecenter@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Here is two videos (two different angles) of a barbell deadlift.  Watch his form especially his back and his head.  He is using the hook grip and lifting over 400 lbs.  Yep, it is possible.  🙂   Thanks and enjoy.

March 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Health tip for week March 22nd

  • Make sure your adrenal glands are healthy and functioning properly; otherwise, a disruption could cause serious health problems including cancer.

Let’s start with discussing what is the adrenal glands.

Each human body has two adrenal glands (also called the suprarenal glands) and they are situated in the abdomen, above the kidneys.  There are three distinct zones to the adrenal glands.  Each zone secretes different types of hormones:  1) Aldosterone, 2) Cortisol and 3) Sex hormones.

Aldosterone increases sodium retention throughout the body, increases potassium excretion and increases water retention.

Cortisol mobilizes and increases amino acids in blood and liver by promoting protein catabolism.  It also stimulates liver to convert amino acids to glucose, mobilizes and increases fatty acids in the blood, maintains resistance to stress and modulates thyroid function.

Sex hormones are the progesterone, estrogen and testosterone precursors and androgens. DHEA is like the mother of sex hormones.  It also stimulates bone deposition and remodeling, which can help prevent osteoporosis.  It improves cardiovascular status by lowering total and LDL cholesterol levels.  It increases muscle mass and decreases percentage body fat.

The importance of the adrenal gland is huge.  It regulates immunity, has detox capacity, balances metabolism, distributes weight and fat, contributes to neural-musculo-skeletal health, and operates the whole endocrine system (thyroid, pancreas i.e. insulin).  To keep it simple, the job of the adrenals is to help the body maintain stability and equilibrium.

One of the biggest disruptions in the adrenals is stress.  Stress refers to anything that disturbs an individual’s physical, mental, or emotional equilibrium and can affect the body in many different ways.  People also have many and different ways they react to stress.  Some individuals eat too much sugar and processed fats, some skip meals, others overeat and some drink alcohol and smoke.  All of these lead to poor health such as dysfunctional cortisol, imbalanced blood sugar control, imbalanced sex hormones (most common is lower testosterone for man) and malfunction of thyroids (constant or clinical fatigue).

All of these problems suppress immune function and deplete the body of Magnesium, Zinc, Glutamine, Carnitine, etc., which can lead to allergies, infections and cancer.

I don’t mean to scare you but almost all Americans live with some sort of stress.  Therefore, we have at least few imbalances in our body and that will affect our adrenal glands.  One way to avoid cancer is to ensure that your adrenal glands are functioning properly and healthy.

To find out whether you have adrenal dysfunction, there are test kits available through your doctor.   The best way is saliva test because it tests your adrenals 4 times a day.  Blood test is just once and is a snapshot of your hormones at the time your blood is taken.  Hormones fluctuates throughout the day and saliva will give us a better indication on how your hormone levels are throughout the day.  At AF Performance Center, we offer the saliva test kit as we have a doctor who works with us.  We charge you the wholesale cost of the test kit and a consultation fee if you want to learn how to fix it.  For more information, you can contact us at afperformancecenter@gmail.com or 310-895-5385.

March 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week March 1st

  • Eat organic eggs as much as you want. It’s good for you.

Eggs are great food.  Research has ended the debate — there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease.   According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke, heart attacks, and many other benefits.

Benefits:

  • A single egg has 9 essential amino acids that our bodies need.
  • Also, contains 6 grams of the highest quality protein that you can put in your body. Proteins are nutrients that are essential to the building, maintenance and repair of your body tissues such as your skin, internal organs and muscles.  They are also the major components of your immune system and hormones.
  • Researchers found that people who eat eggs every day lower their risk of developing cataracts, also because of the lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs.
  • One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline.  Choline is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system.
  • New research shows that, contrary to previous belief, moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol. In fact, recent studies have shown that regular consumption of two eggs per day does not affect a person’s lipid profile and may, in fact, improve it. Research suggests that it is saturated fat that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol.
  • Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D.
  • Eggs may prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.
  • Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12

Now, be aware that not all eggs are the same.  There is a major nutritional difference between TRUE free-range chicken eggs and commercially farmed eggs.

The USDA defines “free-range” chickens as those with “access to the outside.” “Outside,” however, can be a field or a cement courtyard and has nothing to do with what the chickens eat. Commercially farmed hens are fed corn, soy and cottonseed. True free-range chickens eat a natural, nutrient-dense diet of seeds, green plants, insects and worms.  Sometimes, those free-range chickens are labeled as vegetarian diet, which are no good either.   Chickens are carnivorous, not vegetarians.

The best way is to buy organic eggs locally, like in your local farmers market.   To find your closest farmers market, visit www.localharvest.org or www.eatwild.com for organic food.

If you have no choice but to buy your eggs at the grocery store, look for free-range organic. Avoid all omega-3 eggs, as they typically come from hens fed poor quality omega-3 fat sources that are already oxidized.

Also, make sure you eat your whole eggs and not only egg whites.  Egg yolks have one of the highest concentrations of biotin found in nature. Biotin is a B-complex vitamin, also known as Vitamin B-7 or Vitamin H. It is important in a number of metabolic functions in the human body, including cell growth, the synthesis of fatty acids, and the metabolism of the amino acid leucine. So it is likely that you will not have a biotin deficiency if you consume the whole egg, yolk and white.  It is best to eat it raw or semi-cooked.

I eat two poach eggs (slightly raw) every morning for breakfast.  It is tasty, satisfied and give me the energy I need for the rest of my day.

February 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week Feb 8th

  • Always do some kind of flexibility prior to exercising.

What is the first thing that comes in mind when the word flexibility is used?  Stretching.  Well, flexibility is a lot more than just stretching.  There are many types of flexibility training:

  1. MyoFascial Release
  2. Static Stretching
  3. Neuromuscular Stretching (Contract-Relax, Contract-Relax-Antagonist-Contract)
  4. Active Isolated Stretching
  5. Dynamic Stretching
  6. Fascial Stretching
  7. Eccentric Quasi-Isometrics
  8. Neurodynamic Mobilization
  9. Self-Mobilization Techniques

This is probably more than you need to know if you are not a personal trainer; however, I listed them to give you an idea that flexibility training is much more comprehensive.

Let’s start by understanding the role of flexibility training.  It enhances performance, prevent injuries, and correct muscle imbalances.  Flexibility is the degree to which an individual muscle will lengthen.  Flexibility is the most neglected aspect of many fitness programs.

Poor flexibility creates many health problems and can be damaging to all structures within our bodies.  It creates poor posture resulting in mechanical imbalances in your back, hips shoulders and neck.  These imbalances shift your body segments out of proper alignment.  The results are stress, strains, even worse posture and stiff tight muscles which limit your range of motion and contribute to back, neck, and pelvis pain.  Many factors limit flexibility such as bones, muscles, ligaments muscular bulk and weight.

Many people in the fitness area do not understand well the role of flexibility for enhancing performance and prevention injuries.  The order should be flexibility first.  All my clients end up with some sort of stretching routine that I encourage them to follow daily.  It helps restore balance between opposing muscle groups.  It aids in stability of joint structures and reduces injuries.

Be aware that over-stretching is not always good either.  Over-stretching ligaments can produce unstable joints.  This can alter the normal length-tension relationships, which leads to synergistic dominance and faulty movement patterns.  This initiates the Cumulative Injury Cycle and places unwanted stress on the entire kinetic chain.

It is important to keep in mind a person’s body structure and his/her current state of flexibility, then design the flexibility routine accordingly.  The general rule is “stretch the tight muscles, don’t stretch everything for the sake of stretching”.  If you don’t know which muscles are tight, seek professional help.  Most trainers will be able to help you.

At AF Performance Center, we are offering 2-day Flexibility Seminar February 20 and 21.  This seminar is great for all trainers, physical therapists or anybody who want to learn about flexibility in depth.  You will learn all 9 different types of integrated flexibility listed above and more.  Call 310-895-5385 or visit www.evo-performance.com for more information.

February 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week Feb 1st

  • Avoid eating all processed and junk food.

Processed food such as hot dog, sausages, spam, bacon and junk food like cookies, potato chips, ice cream are all bad for you.  It’s not because it’s fattening (in fact, eating certain types of fat is good), but it’s because of GMO – Genetic Modified Organism.  All processed and junk food are GMO.  There are lots of studies on GMO in the past and the results have been unfavored and proven dangerous.  GMO food is banned in few European countries due to the negative results in the studies.

One of the studies released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers found that agricultural giant Monsanto’s GM corn is linked to organ damage in rats. You can check out the actual study here.

Why is the FDA allowing this if it’s so dangerous?  Well, it’s all politics and money.  Monsanto runs the whole show.  They control FDA.  If you don’t believe me, you can google Monsanto and GMO.  There are lots of information in the internet about this.

Not only has GMO been linked to organ damages, but also cancer and many other serious illnesses and death too.  Please, if you want to be healthy, then avoid eating processed and junk food.  I highly recommend natural foods like organic meat, vegetables, nuts, fruits and anything natural.

Here is a video about the study mentioned above if you don’t believe me.

February 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week Jan 17th

Hi everybody.  First, I want to apologize for not writing last week’s health tip.  Super busy.  So let’s move on with this week’s health tip:  Get your Vitamin D levels check because having enough vitamin D in your body can cure and prevent cancer and a whole bunch of illness.

Vitamin D is actually a hormone.  As a hormone, it controls calcium absorption to help the body build strong bones and teeth, and it helps maintain muscle strength. When you are deficient in calcium and vitamin D, your bones break down to supply calcium to the rest of your body. But being deficient in vitamin D can take a toll on more than just your skeleton.

Vitamin D deficiency could cause include heart disease, chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, hypertension, arthritis, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, PMS, Crohns Disease, cancer, MS and other autoimmune diseases.  The Vitamin D Council states that Vitamin D deficiency can also cause stroke, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting and birth defects.

D is also the only vitamin that does not need to be consumed in food or supplements because our bodies are efficient at making it when our skin is exposed to direct sunlight (not through a window). But not all sun exposure is the same, and many factors help determine how much we absorb. In general, the further away you are from the equator, the more efficient the vitamin D production, but cloud cover and air pollution can hinder the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Many people living in the Southern United States can get enough vitamin D by getting about 10-15 minutes of sun exposure on their arms and face a few times a week — as long as they don’t use sunscreen, which blocks some of the UV rays necessary to make the vitamin.

A recent study by Dr. Cedric Garland demonstrated that sufficient vitamin D status lowered the risk of cancer. Even the American Cancer Society (who receive tens of millions of dollars each year from pharmaceutical and radiology companies) downplays this research on top of that they attempt to scare people away from taking vitamin D supplementation because of the “toxic side effects” and claim people should only use up to 400 IU per day (based on early 19th century science).

Another expert, Michael Holick, PhD, MD agrees that maintaining proper blood levels of vitamin D can reduce the risk of common cancers, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammation associated with cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Gloucester recommends keeping blood levels of Vitamin D above 60 ng/ml. Many of the people tested in my center have come back with levels in the 20’s.  We have yet to find anyone above the 60 ng/mg mark that is recommended. For years the establishment has brainwashed the public to think the sun is the cause of cancer and you should avoid skin cancer at all costs…. why is it then that outside workers have the lowest cancer rates when compared to office workers.  My dad sun tans for 2 hours on average everyday (direct sunlight) and has been doing this for over 30 years and yet he has no skin cancer.  In fact, my dad claims that sun tanning cured his diabetes.  My dad looks 10 to 15 years younger than he is.

So how much should you take?

First, have a blood test to measure your levels of vitamin D then from there you can calculate your requirements – remember it’s vitamin D3 you need to supplement with. If your doctor is unable to help you with this then maybe its time to get a new doctor – one that is more up to date with the research rather than the propaganda being led by the pharmaceutical industry.

The current recommended intake of vitamin D is 200 IUs (international units) for those up to age 50; 400 IUs for people 51-70; and 600 IUs for those older than 70. Requirements increase with age because older skin produces less vitamin D.  But these recommendations date back to 1997. “Additional studies have been published since that time documenting the effectiveness of higher levels of vitamin D,” says Dr. Holick, who was also a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee that issued the recommendations.

Evidence is mounting that we may need even more — especially older, dark-skinned, or housebound people.

According to the IOM Dietary Reference Intakes, the safe upper limit for vitamin D is 2,000 IUs for children, adults, and pregnant and lactating women. Some experts have suggested increasing the recommended amount to more than 2,000 IUs daily.

I usually recommend my clients to take daily vitamin D3 supplements of 1,000 IUs to start with.  However, I will suggest more depending on the client’s Vitamin D deficiency level based on the blood test result.

If you a looking for a high quality vitamin D supplement, we carry a full range of “doctors only” supplements. Contact us at AF Performance Center and we can also provide testing.

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment